Optionsprogram för anställda : en studie av svenska börsföretag

Sammanfattning: An important strategic question for companies today is how to recruit, motivate and retain employees. It is becoming more important to consider the incentive programs in the valuation process of companies. Recent studies show that employee stock option plans are more commonly used in Swedish companies than earlier. However, there are few studies about how employee stock options influence company performance and affect employees.The purpose of this thesis is to increase the awareness of what the introduction of an employee stock option plan means, both from a management perspective and from the employees’ perspective. There are many different kinds of stock option plans and the plans can vary in terms of type of options, time to expiry, exercise price and tax consequences. This study started with a pre-study of which types of employee stock option plans that are used in Swedish companies. A closer study was then carried out in four companies in different industries with different stock option plans.The motives for introducing employee stock option plans can be divided into five categories: personnel motives, incentive motives, salary motives, accounting motives and tax motives. The case studies show how motives for option plans can be dependent on different circumstances within the companies. Further, the study also shows that the consequences of the stock option plans varies according to factors such as motives, design of the stock option plan, share price performance and other context factors. Context factors that could have an effect are the company’s business, organisational structure, corporate culture and experiences from employee stock options in the industry, employees’ education and tax rules. The consequences for the company are also dependent on how the employees react to the options.To be able to estimate what an employee stock option plan means for the company, all these factors must be taken under consideration. Further one must take into account the costs for the stock options such as dilution effects, hedging costs, personnel costs and costs for designing the program.